In November 2020, the KPMG Service Delivery Review Report recommended (amongst other things) that Site Plan Approvals be delegated to Staff instead of coming to Council every time. This would speed up development and improve operational efficiency. At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on 6 September, Council will be asked to approve this change. The move is also prompted by Provincial bill the More Homes for Everyone Act, Bill 109 which requires this change! Development agreements would still come to Council so it’s not a bypass of Council approval of developments, it’s just a delegation of technical planning issues which Councillors are generally not experts in.
Another change being requested is that Site Plan applicants should be required to have a pre-consultation with the Planning Department so they are clear on what’s required to make an application. A third change is that Staff should report annually (in Q1) on the previous year’s Planning Act applications and approvals.
Staff have detailed the “before and after” of the process in their report to Council. The report says that the changes will “free up many hours of staff time and resources for other priorities and streamline the approval processes for applicants.”
Summary of Benefits
- Improved efficiency (implies less staff needed)
- Staff delegation will improve timelines and will free up resources for other projects.
- Residential units will reach the construction phase more quickly.
- Housing projects can advance more quickly and without delay.
- Annual reporting will provide enhanced communication
In addition to the explanatory memo (see Resources below), Staff have provided 9 attachments including draft by-laws and forms to be used. Hopefully Councillors will read all the provided material and make an informed decision.
- Service Levels Review – Final Report – Cobourg News Blog Article – 16 November 2020
- KPMG Service Delivery Review Report – see pages 7 and 35 for reference to delegation to Staff
- Delegation of Site Plan Approval – Explanatory Memo to Council by Anne Taylor Scott, Director, Planning and Development Division and Laurie Wills Director Public Works Division
- CoW Agenda and Attachment links – Town web site
This change was approved by Council at their CoW meeting on Sept 6.